Action from the three-day race, which will be based at the Fancourt Golf Estate in the town of George in South Africa’s Western Cape province, will be able to be followed via a livestreaming feed on www.tourofhomewood.co.za.
The technological breakthrough is as a result of months of testing by BigShot Live, a division of BigShot Media, the production company that’s responsible for the TV coverage of many of South Africa’s most significant mountain bike and triathlon events, including the ABSA Cape Epic, Cape Pioneer Trek, DuToit Tankwa Trek and the Standard Bank Ironman.
“It’s not too difficult to livestream sports events in a contained area, such as surfing or tennis or even cross-country and downhill mountain biking. But stage racing, where riders travel greater distances through remote areas is a proper challenge. We’re up for that challenge,” said Mark Le Roux of BigShot Live.
“The Tour of Homewood is a new event which means the pressure on us a bit lower. Although that doesn’t mean we’ll drop our standards. We’ve always been about creating compelling TV. The race is also based in the George area, which gives us reasonably consistent reception. We’ve got the technology in place; it’s just a matter of making it all work seamlessly.
“As opposed to standard television technology, which involves the use of microlinks, dishes and satellites, we’ll be using cellular and wifi technology for the live broadcast. Of course we’re expecting some ‘black holes’ where the cellular signal may be weak or non existent, but we should be able to manage the continuity with our planned strategy,” added Le Roux.
BigShot Live will use three cameras, one in a helicopter and two on motorcycles. They will also have a studio set at the race village and three presenters, one on a quad bike, one in the helicopter and one in the studio. This will allow them to have a very good chance of continuity throughout, even if they do experience ‘dead spots’ in terms of cellular or wifi signal.
“At Dryland, we’re all about pushing the limits with our events. Livestreaming has become such a big part of the international sports event experience and we’re excited to be involved in establishing a world first with livestreaming coverage of the full three days of racing at the Tour of Homewood,” said Henco Rademeyer, of Dryland Event Management, one of South Africa’s leading sports event companies.
“We have a long relationship with BigShot Media, who are undoubtedly the leading endurance sports event TV production company in Africa. They are all about combining creativity and technology to deliver quality viewing and we have no doubt they will make a success of this pioneering project at the Tour of Homewood,” added Rademeyer.
The Tour of Homewood starts on Friday 4 September and comprises three stages with distances ranging from 55-76km per day with 1200–1700m of vertical ascent. Each stage will start and finish at Fancourt where special Tour of Homewood accommodation packages have be made available to ensure a luxury off-the-bike experience at South Africa’s premier golf resort.
Online entries have closed, but there are still some late-entry packages available.
For more information visit www.tourofhomewood.co.za